How to Cope: Being a Mom Without the Village

Does this sound familiar to you?  My husband and I moved to Atlanta before starting a family, because he got a great job offer he couldn’t refuse. While we don’t regret our move, it means the closest family member is 5 states away. With the old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child,” we find there is no village, and we’re, quite frankly, exhausted. Motherly sums it up perfectly with this headline: “In the absence of ‘the village,’ mothers struggle most.”

The work of motherhood is never-ending, whether you are a working or stay at home mom. I’ve had some days where I haven’t been able to sit down because if I did, I wouldn’t get up to finish up the 2337849374890234738209 tasks I knew there were still left to do. According to a Motherly article, the J-O-B of motherhood equates to 98 hours of work each week. While this really isn’t a shocker to any mom I know, the article does point out what I think is important:  “Mothers need support in their workplaces, communities, and homes.”  Yes, we do, but HOW?

That’s why I’m here, writing.  This community is one of the only villages I have, even if it is only online. From one exhausted momma to another, I’m reaching out to my fellow villagers. I’ve listed 4 things that helped me, but am also looking (desperately!) for other ideas.

  1. Meal Delivery Kits:  Whatever brand you choose, and there are lots of options. The upside?  Not having to worry about what to make or ensuring you have the ingredients to make a said dish. It’s all there for you. The downside? These can get expensive fast. Parents magazine has a great article discussing their favorite meal kits for families.
  2. Casseroles: This is a local shout out to a place I used right after my daughter was born. Having no family here, and with my husband returning to work shortly after her birth, I knew I was not in any shape to be making meals. I bought a bunch of meals to freeze. It was a god send during that time! And occasionally I’ve stopped by to pick up meals when I really didn’t have the desire or energy to cook.
  3. Cleaning Services: Harness the power of your local community on, Angie’s List, Google (reviews) or just plain old asking your neighbors or friends for someone they love. Let someone else do the dusting, sweeping and toilet bowl scrubbing.  
  4. Flexible Job: I have the ability to work from home two days a week and that flexibility has been great! I can throw in a load of laundry before a meeting or fold a load while sitting on a conference call.  A lot of companies are offering more flexible schedules, so if you’re in the market to find a new job or change jobs, check out reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed to check out what flexible options there are.  

Villagers give me your best ideas! I could always use more, and I’m sure other moms out there would love to hear what has helped YOU lessen the workload of motherhood.  


  1. Erin! Fellow mom here with no available family to help. In addition to your good suggestions, I’d add:
    If you send your kids to a daycare, lean on trusted teachers and directors for advice. Those professionals have taken care of hundreds (if not thousands) of kids and have seen it all.
    Our daycare offers a monthly, very affordable parents’ Night Out and we take advantage of that as much as possible, even if all we do is clean up at home before flopping on the couch with takeout and Netflix.
    Ask your neighbors for help! I was nervous to approach our neighbors with requests for help (for small but necessary things like watching our dogs when we went to the hospital to deliver) but they were so understanding and willing to help. They have kids so they know what it’s like to need a helping hand.
    I so enjoyed reading this!

    • Kelly – thank you so much for reading and adding your suggestions. These are all great ideas! Sometimes I think people think parents night out has to be a big deal, when it really can be chilling and connecting at home over take out kid-free. And I really liked the idea of asking your neighbors…it’s something I never thought of doing, even though we have good relationships with our neighbors, so thanks for giving me yet another idea!

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